Boutique Bridal Party

A few weeks ago I was a vendor alongside some of the most wonderful & unique wedding professionals in western New York. I had a blast & met some totally awesome brides who I look forward to working with in the coming months. I think there were some 400+ that attended, and judging by the video below... everyone had a good time!

My booth for the show, complete with logo banner by Rachel Herman. Thanks, Rachel! 

My booth for the show, complete with logo banner by Rachel Herman. Thanks, Rachel! 

In addition to throwing a spectacular show, the BBP also released the first issue of With Love! magazine. Gift ideas, DIY projects, bridal shoots, engagement stories & wedding highlights, signature cocktail recipes, & local wedding vendor information. Seriously, this is one well thought out and perfectly printed magazine! Ya'll need to go pick one up at the Hotel Lafayette if you're in Buffalo. I am already scheming for next year's show!

spring 2014 stationery

With the heat wave this week, I have to admit; I've got floral fever. I'm ready for lots of fresh wildflower bouquets on the kitchen table, and tiny crocuses poking out along our front walk any day now. I'm going full force with the bright colors, and I aim to not stop until fall. Who's with me?!

I printed a handful of new stationery designs for the Boutique Bridal Party a few weeks back, and I'm hoping to get them in the shop by the end of the week (maybe wednesday night, as 10 more inches of snow pummel Rochester).  After this next storm, I'm sure everyone will be in the market for some thank you's!


a dip pen kind of winter

If i'm going to be stuck inside, i'd rather be playing with bottles of colorful ink than counting the minutes until spring finally sticks. It has already proven to be a busy year for wedding calligraphy.  I'm always excited to try new combinations of colors & envelopes, scripts & blocks. The trend lately seems to be a muted palette: lots of kraft, cream, gray, mint, & blush. I'm loving it! And how about those gold letterpressed confetti dots, courtesy of greengirlpress? So stinkin' pretty.


Henry David

Well gosh! That was some break, am I right? So much has happened since the last post, but namely, we welcomed our second son into the world. Henry David was born the day after thanksgiving, and has been such a gift to our little family of four.  We are so very thankful for the chubby & happy 3 month old he is today. And he could not be more loved by his older brother! Who knew your heart could grow so?


Jeremiah 29:11

This last weekend I got to celebrate my beautiful niece Emily at her christening.  I always love working on new calligraphy pieces for family because there is an entirely new dimension to the care and love (and time!) put into them. For this one I spent a whole evening (I got a little carried away) researching flower meanings to find something that would fit the passage that I was using. After much thought I decided on alstroemerias, commonly known as peruvian lilies. Aside from being completely beautiful flowers, they are said to represent friendship, wealth, & prosperity. I also included a tiny daisy for innocence and purity. A close contender were blue irises, which symbolize faith & hope. Maybe next time! Anyway, I was really excited about the way that everything turned out. It's perfectly little girlish for now, but hopefully she doesn't grow out of it for a while. Welcome to the church, pretty little lady!


big boy dresser reveal

Gosh, it seems like this post has been a long time coming. Michael & I have spent a good amount of time refinishing a bedroom set that belonged to my Dad when he was a boy, and three coats of white oil paint later they ended up in my room. I have always loved them, but we agreed that they deserved a makeover if they were going to make it into Liam's new room. We finished the first dresser a few months ago and found it "a little" tough to motivate ourselves to start the second one from the beginning. I'm proud to say that they are finally finished & we have a little boy here who loves them!  And he is worth every bit of stripping, sanding, painting, staining, & sealing that it took to make these heirloom pieces his own. We just love that little guy!


chalkboard menu: revisiting colored pencil lettering

I have to say, it has been a few years since I've given much thought to colored pencil lettering, & I'm so glad to have had the chance to revisit an old favorite medium a few weeks ago. I had a custom order from one of my bridal calligraphy clients for a chalkboard menu to be framed at the reception. After experimenting with white charcoal, conte crayon, and several colored pencils, I decided on a Prismacolor premier colored pencil. Pretty standard. It worked great on the black illustration board that I bought & ended up looking remarkably similar to a chalkboard finish, without the impermanence. I'm thinking it might be time to work some pencil back into my watercolors!


an awesome autumnal affair

Alright, how cool is this wedding? These two are getting married at a lodge in a beautiful ski resort, at the peak of color-changing fall! I mean... come on! I love the colors that they chose, and I'm sure that the day will be just as gorgeous. 


free stuff!

Tomorrow kicks off the new website launch giveaway for a package of super sweet kelly place paper goodness. Greeting cards, prints (including a brand spankin' new 8x10" print of my new ABC calligraphy), and a cute crocheted holiday ornament. If I see enough entries in the middle of the week, I may even throw a book binding in there :) Head over to the rewards & giveaways section of my facebook page for entry details! Good luck & don't forget to spread the word!


alphabet print

Why is it so hard to use free time appropriately? I always wish that I had the discipline to crank out a new design every few days, but sketches just seem to linger on my desk. Like this one below, many hours are spent perfecting the sketch, which doesn't see watercolor for .....sometimes weeks. How tragic! I am happy to report that this one is finished & will be available as a print in my shop soon. I've been wanting to do something that feels equally at home in both a nursery or kids room & in an office or other living space. I think this turned out simple and colorful (in that muted sort of way) enough for either. I'm quite happy with it.


What's the trend these days, 8x10s or 9x12s? What would you all like to see?

inspired by: happier at home

I've been trying to slow down a bit lately, and take time to myself that isn't necessarily business  or house related. It's hard for me not to start a handful of projects during each bit of free time that I find during the day. But I realized that when I don't take a break from my work, I don't have the energy to feel inspired & I fall into a creative rut.  Every so often I start to wonder if I'm heading in the right direction in all aspects of my life. Where should I put more time, energy, money, love? Where can I afford to? What is most important? I came across this great book a few months ago. Initially it was a gift for Michael, but I'll admit that I've sort of claimed it as my own at this point. It's written by Gretchen Rubin, who also wrote "The Happiness Project". Though I haven't read that book, I find that she touches on it a bit in this one, and "Happier at Home" is much more suitable for me right now. It covers a number of areas of her life that she evaluates & redefines, and then creates tasks for herself to help draw more attention to (and enjoyment from) them.  Possessions, marriage, parenthood, body, interior design, neighborhood, family, time, etc. I'm only partway through, but I find that when I read for a while, I'm inspired to walk around our house and create projects for myself.  The difference here is, I don't feel stressed about these projects. I'm not lacking ideas. I'm removing clutter, in every sense of the word, so that I can focus on the things that I want to be present.

One of the tasks that she choose for herself to help sort the precious, meaningful things that she owned from the stuff that she has no real attachment to, was to create miniature 'shrines' throughout her house. Collections that she might have previously had stored away that she wanted to appreciate more. I thought this was so nice. I have a shelf like this in my studio, and while it wasn't arranged after reading that part of the book, it is a favorite space of mine. It's nice to see a shelf full of items that make you smile or relive a certain memory, and I can't wait to revisit all of the shelves and dresser tops in our house.

Have a wonderfully full weekend everyone! And go read this book- you won't be disappointed!




just july

Can anyone believe we are already in July?! I cannot. Honestly. I've been so busy trying to enjoy the weather and tolerate the bugs that I haven't realized how quickly the weeks are passing (I count time in weeks again, now). I have a handful of fun projects coming up that I am pumped about and hope to be able to share them soon. Until then, enjoy the hazy sun, ripe fruit, and wild flowers, friends! july-calendar

big boy room progress

It's been a 'little' humid here to get much painting done, but I did manage to finish up the drawers for our big dresser renovation and spray all the hardware.  I also found some pretty great vintage globe book ends at an estate sale on our street.  Michael is always on the hunt too, and happened to get his hands on an awesome pull down New York State map from a city school that he's working on. We hadn't planned on going with the geographic theme, but I do love what we've found so far! globebookends


a dresser, reborn

I haven't worked on a big furniture piece in some time, and i'm pretty excited about this one. It will actually be two pieces: a short and tall dresser. They were my Dad's when he was a child, and my parents gave them a fresh coat (or 3) of white paint for my room as a little girl.  My initial inspiration was this Stuart Melrose piece. I have to say, the only thing motivating us to strip these down to the wood and sand them smooth is seeing the end result, which does make me a little giddy actually. Oh, that and being able to move Liam into his new big boy room to free up the nursery for baby #2 this December!!!  :D liam-dresser1




i thank you God

Oh, how I love doing calligraphy of e.e. cummings poems. I always feel that they lend themselves so well to different treatments of each line, and I love playing up the color variations with them too. This was for the cover of a wedding program for that beautiful Rochester wedding invite I helped work on. I'm hoping to get a photo of the menus I collaborated with Cecelia on, too. I imagine that all the lovely details of that day were just, YES. The very best wishes to the bride & groom! ithankyougod

lucky, for a friend

Last weekend was my first experience attending a greek wedding and, holy awesome, what a blast! I was so thrilled to celebrate with an old high school friend and her new love. They had a beautiful day, super joyous guests, and a pretty cute wedding song, too (lucky, by Jason Mraz)! Wishing them loads of happiness! diana2



crazy love

There is a soft spot in my heart for Van Morrison when it comes to weddings. Michael and I had our first dance to a Van Morrison song, and when it comes right down to it, I'm just a fan. This was special request for a custom 'crazy love' calligraphy piece for a wedding card. And you know what? I dig it. That lone dusty miller leaf makes MY heart beat! I'm beginning to prefer gray ink over black ink lately, too. Anyone else with me on that one? natalie-vanmor

the passing of spring

Boy, am I ever embarrassed about the lack of posting lately. It is really hard to stay connected! But we have been having a great busy time around the house & studio here! There has been a lot of garden planting, yard exploring, pinecone collecting, stroller walking, and car watching this spring. I'm hoping to post some of my recent projects over the next few days, so bear with me! crocus1